Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lessons from black history, part 2

“You must know something I don’t know.”

That was the reaction I got when I responded to a white conservative fellow Christian who was exulting that George W. Bush had been declared the winner of the 2000 presidential election that I had voted for Al Gore. Apparently it never occurred to him that Christians don’t uniformly support the modern conservative agenda.

Well, he was ultimately right. as most African-Americans, even Bible-believers, don’t. (And by most, I’m referring to over 90 percent.) There are reasons.

To most African-Americans, “conservatism” is more literal — it represents an unwillingness to share political power with those not of that purview because their history in this country by definition reflects a need for social change.

To wit, who supported slavery? Who opposed civil-rights? (And both were “endorsed” by the Bible, by the way.)

It’s also a reason that blacks who promote the conservative agenda are often considered “sellouts.” In many cases it’s literally true in that a few have actually accepted money available through conservative foundations to do so — after all, that was also done under slavery, with “house Negroes” receiving better treatment than those in the field and squelching any hint of rebellion.

So what does this have to do with “black history?” Let me turn that around: What doesn’t it have to do with it?

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